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CPACT related research interests

Our vision

"An integrated approach to modelling, design and management of industrial and natural systems, products and processes"

Our aspirations

  • To undertake world class research
  • To be relevant to the needs of industry and society
  • To promote and facilitate the widespread adoption of systems methodologies in relevant domains
  • To transfer technology to industry, academic and society

Key points of our current research strategy can be summarized as follows

  • Managing complexity in uncertain process systems modelled across many time and length scales,
  • Work in three fundamental areas of research: Product and Process Design, Operations and Control, Modelling and Model Solution Tools,
  • Develop systems for analysis and synthesis in five application domains: process, molecular, biological, supply chain and energy systems; and also work in computing, environmental and business systems.

Fundamental research programme

The fundamental research programme is concerned with developing new ideas, concepts and methods.

Product and process design considers the design of new products with desired properties, novel manufacturing approaches, conceptual design of new plant and processes, process/control system design interactions, and operability, manufacturability, environmental and lifecycle issues.

Process operations and control uses mathematical models that capture the underlying science, and adopts an optimization approach to give improved operation in terms of product quality, energy usage, environmental impact and sustainability. The control dimension covers advanced automation and control with an emphasis on application to the process industries. An aim of the programme is to move new theory rapidly towards practical realisation and thus to help the process control sector take early advantage of developments.

Modelling and model solution tools underpins all the application areas in the Centre. State of the art models and tools allow us to tackle new types of problems as well as more traditional problems with greater complexity, minimising the assumptions required and leading to greater insight into the behaviour of processes and the properties of products.

Application domains

Chemical manufacturing systems where the CPSE has application include continuous chemical processes including petrochemicals and oil & gas; polymer industry; particulate industry and specialty chemical industry.

Molecular systems engineering focuses on the development of methods and tools for the design of better products and processes in applications where molecular interactions play a central role.

Biological Systems Engineering gives an integrated systems engineering platform for tackling complex biological and biomedical problems. Advanced, adaptive algorithms are employed to generate solutions and strategies for model-based design of experiments and also for the prediction, control and optimisation.

Supply chains of the future will pose problems at all three of strategic, planning and operational levels. They are very complex with many interactions and a large decision space The approach is a model-based, systems one using abstraction and high-fidelity mathematical modelling together with powerful numerical methods.

Energy systems engineering considers the future options for sustainable and less environmentally damaging energy supply. The aim is to arrive at realistic integrated solutions by adopting a systems approach. The portfolio of work includes oil and gas production, biofuels, fuel cells, electrical grids and urban energy systems.

  • Chemical Manufacturing
  • Molecular Systems Engineering
  • Biological Systems Engineering
  • Energy Systems Engingeering
  • Supply Chain
  • Product and Process Design
  • Operations and Control
  • Modelling and Model Solution Tools
  • Multiscale Process Modelling
  • FTIR Spectroscopic Imagaing
  • ATR-FTIR Spectroscopic Imagaing
  • In situ ATR_FTIR spectroscopy under high pressure
  • Chemical Imaging of Dissolution
  • Confocal Raman Microscopy
  • FT-Raman Sprectroscopy
  • Tip-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
  • Multivariate Image Analysis

CPACT collaboration

Our most powerful contribution is a set of skills and tools for multi-scale modelling of complex systems. Beyond this, our experience of the chemicals, energy and bioprocess domains will also be useful. We see scope for collaboration at the interfaces between models, data and instrumentation in particular.

General contact information


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